USA U-17 team beats Australia 95-66 for gold at the world championships


Having dominated each of their prior seven games leading up to the gold medal game of the FIBA U17 World Championships, anything less that a victory would have been a bitter disappointment for the United States.

Kansas commit Conner Frankamp knocked down four three-pointers, three other Americans finished in double figures as Don Showalter’s team rolled to the 95-62 win over Australia.

Frankamp made seven of his nine shots from the field, and in addition to his perimeter shooting the United States proved to have too much size for the Australians to deal with.

2014 prospect Jahlil Okafor made eight of 12 from the field, finishing with 17 points and eight rebounds, and 2013 forward Justise Winslow posted another double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

And 2013 wing Jabari Parker looked as good as he had in the entire tournament on Sunday, scoring 12 points of 5-for-6 shooting from the field.

Defensively the United States was able to break the game open and fluster the Australians with a 2-3 zone, and with Australia lacking the size to hurt the US in the high post they resorted to firing away from deep.

Australia finished 9-for-42 from beyond the arc, and with the United States making 60.3% of their shots things got away from the Aussies.

“They bought into playing defense, for one thing,” said Showalter following the win. “You look at our defensive average and it was tremendous. So, they really bought into playing defense.”

Dante Exum and Ben Simmons were two of the best players in the tournament for Australia, but while Exum did manage to score 21 points Simmons was shut down by the biggest front court he saw in the event.

Simmons missed both of his shots from the field, finishing the game with two points and four rebounds.

Australia limited the United States to their smallest margin of victory in the first game of the tournament for both, an 89-67 victory on June 29.

Outside of their semifinal win over Spain (95-66), the Americans didn’t win by fewer than 30 points in any of their games on the way to the gold.

Photo credit: USA Basketball

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.